Category Archives: OSHA Administration

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OSHA Issues Substantial Award To SOX Whistleblower Claiming “Blacklisting”

According to a news release from OSHA, OSHA recently ordered DISH Network (the “Company”) to pay a former employee over $257,000 in back wages and compensatory damages, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees, and to expunge his employment record after it determined that the Company violated Section 806 of SOX.… Continue Reading

Webinar With Leaders From SEC, CFTC and OSHA Whistleblower Programs, Proskauer and Plaintiff-Side Attorney

On April 30, at 12:00 – 1:30 Central, Proskauer will participate in a webinar through BNA with leaders from the SEC, CTFC and OSHA whistleblower programs and a plaintiffs’-side whistleblower attorney.  The webinar will focus on cutting-edge developments in the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank whistleblower arenas.  The program, which will provide a range of competing perspectives, … Continue Reading

OSHA Introduces New Online Whistleblower Complaint Form

As first reported by Law 360 reporter Kat Greene on December 5, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) unveiled a new online complaint form to complement its telephone hotline.  The nineteen-question form is not tailored in any respect to SOX whistleblowers.  Rather, the form requires the complainant to describe … Continue Reading

Video Interview: Discussing OSHA’s Most Recent Whistleblower Award with LXBN TV

As a follow-up to our post on the most recent whistleblower award being handed out by OSHA–which exceeded $1M–I spoke once again with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN on the matter. In this interview, I share my thoughts on this growing trend of large whistleblower awards from OSHA and the implications it has for employers in a … Continue Reading

OSHA Awards $1.9 Million To SOX Whistleblower

On September 30, 2013, OSHA awarded more than $1.9 million to a former CFO of Clean Diesel Technologies, Inc. (the Company) (based in Ventura, California) who is not identified in OSHA’s press release.  This award is based on OSHA’s finding that the Company violated Section 806 of SOX by discharging the CFO in retaliation for … Continue Reading

OSHA Reinstates ERA Whistleblower And Issues Daunting Preliminary Order

On May 15, 2013, OSHA determined that Enercon Services Inc. (Company), an engineering firm that provides nuclear power facilities with engineering support services, violated the whistleblower provisions of the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA).  OSHA Regional News Release, 13-822-KAN (May 20, 2013).  As a result, it ordered reinstatement and a host of other severe penalties.  The … Continue Reading

Inside Counsel Quotes Proskauer’s Commentary on the Increasing Number of OSHA Complaints

In an article published in InsideCounsel, Steve Pearlman, co-head of Proskauer’s Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group, lent his insight into recently released statistics showing a thirty-percent increase in the number of whistleblower retaliation complaints filed with OSHA since 2009, and the corresponding need for employers to carefully manage these cases.  Based on his first-hand observations, Pearlman cautions: … Continue Reading

OSHA Penalizes Another Railroad Company In Whistleblower Action

On February 28, 2013, OSHA ordered Union Pacific Railroad (UP) to reinstate the employment of and pay over $309,000 ($150,000 in punitive damages, $87,600 in compensatory damages, $71,700 in back pay with interest, plus attorney’s fees) to a locomotive conductor who alleged he was discharged for reporting a co-worker’s on-the-job injury.  OSHA Regional News Release, … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Interim Final Rule on PPACA Whistleblower Provision

On February 22, 2013, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released an interim final rule concerning the whistleblower protection provisions of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The PPACA whistleblower provision protects employees of health insurance issuers or other employers who report potential violations of the statute’s consumer protections (e.g., the … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Stiff Penalties To Railroad Company In FRSA Whistleblower Matters

OSHA recently announced that it ordered Norfolk Southern Railway (Company) to pay three former workers a combined $1,121,099 for violating the whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA), which protects employees who report violations of any federal law, rule or regulation relating to railroad safety or security.… Continue Reading

District of Idaho: Federal District Courts Lack Jurisdiction to Enforce Preliminary Reinstatement Order

The stakes increase and the landscape changes tremendously in a whistleblower case when the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) issues a preliminary reinstatement order.  The specter of reinstatement could in some cases – especially where the whistleblower is an executive and/or there is serious acrimony – eclipse the risk of monetary awards.  And the Secretary is apt … Continue Reading

Law360 Quotes Proskauer’s Commentary On Uptick In Employee Whistleblower Claims

In a Law360 article (subscription required), Steve Pearlman, co-head of Proskauer’s Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group, commented on recently released statistics showing a substantial uptick in both the number of whistleblower cases filed with OSHA as well as the number of OSHA determinations.  Our post discussing these statistics can be accessed here.… Continue Reading

OSHA Whistleblower Program: Record Number of Cases Filed & Resolved In 2012

OSHA recently released statistics (aggregated by BNA) showing dramatic increases in both the number of whistleblower cases filed with OSHA last year as well as the number of OSHA determinations.  The number of whistleblower cases submitted to OSHA in fiscal year 2012 was 2,787 – up 5% from 2011 –  and that the number of … Continue Reading

BNSF & OSHA Reach Significant Whistleblower-Related Accord

In January 2013, after over 30 FRSA complaints were lodged by BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) employees, OSHA and BNSF reached an agreement (Accord), where BNSF agreed to modify certain policies and practices alleged to interfere with employees’ rights under the whistleblowing provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA). BNSF also extended settlement offers to … Continue Reading

Secretary of Labor Announces Appointees to Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee

On December 13, 2012, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced the inaugural appointees of the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC).  WPAC was established to “advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the Secretary of Labor and the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) on ways to improve the fairness, efficiency, … Continue Reading

OSHA Announces ADR Pilot Program

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is charged with enforcing the whistleblower protection provisions in 22 separate statutes – ranging from Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 to environmental statutes to the Safety Transportation Assistance Act – will pilot a new conflict resolution program for whistleblower claims.  OSHA Directive 12-01 (CPL … Continue Reading

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